Wild Grape

Vitis genus

(Species include: Vitis labrusca, Vitis riparia, and Vitis aestivalis)

Virginia Kline

There are several species of Wild Grape in Virginia, most of which are very similar and difficult to tell apart. Fox Grape (Vitis labrusca), Summer Grape (Vitis aestivalis), and Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia) are probably the most common species.

Wild Grape are woody vines which can climb over thirty feet tall. They have large, three-lobed leaves with teeth on the edges.

Wild Grape can be found on streambanks, pond edges, roadsides, and in open woods. In woods, the vine is probably very large and has grown up with the tree.

Dan Skean

James Manhart

Wild Grape uses tendrils (like above-ground roots) to grab onto branches or bark of larger plants.

The bark of Wild Grape is brownish-gray and very shreddy.

Wild Grape flowers are green and small. They bloom from May to July. The fruit, of course, is what grapes are known for. Wild Grape grows large purplish-black berries in clusters of up to twenty. Fruits become ripe from August to October. Wild Grape fruit is very important for wildlife.

Each berry contains two to six seeds. When animals eat the fruit, they help spread the vines by pooping out seeds in new places.

Many birds nest in Wild Grape tangles, including Northern Cardinal, Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, and Northern Mockingbird.

Many birds also use bark from the vine to build nests.

Some animals which eat Wild Grape fruit are Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Wood Duck, Common Crow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Northern Mockingbird, American Robin, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, European Starling, Northern Bobwhite, Brown Thrasher, Tufted Titmouse, Pileated Woopecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwing, Purple Finch, Blue Jay, Dark-eyed Junco, Eastern Kingbird,Baltimore Oriole, White-throated Sparrow, Red Fox, Eastern Cottontail, Raccoon, Virginia Opossum, and Striped Skunk.

White-tailed Deer eat the leaves and stems.

Paul E. Berry, Wisconsin State Herbarium

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants


Blue Jay

Gray Catbird

Witch Hazel

Blue Jay D

Wood Duck

Polyphemus Moth


Wood Duck D

Red Fox

Northern Cardinal


Red Fox D

Virginia Opossum

Northern Mockingbird

America Sycamore

Virginia Opossum D

Northern Bobwhite

Daring Jumping Spider

Black Willow

Northern Bobwhite D

Wild Turkey

Chinese Mantid

Red Maple

Wild Turkey D

Gray Catbird

Mourning Dove

Trumpet Creeper

Gray Catbird D

Northern Cardinal

Great Crested Flycatcher

Poison Ivy

Northern Cardinal D

Eastern Cottontail

American Goldfinch

Virginia Creeper

Eastern Cottontail D

Common Crow

Fiery Searcher

Eastern White Pine

Common Crow D

Pileated Woodpecker

European Gypsy Moth

White Oak

Pileated Woodpecker D


Black and Yellow Argiope

Black Locust

Raccoon D

Striped Skunk


American Beech

Striped Skunk D

Great Crested Flycatcher

Northern Water Snake

Silver Maple

Great Crested Flycatcher D

Eastern Bluebird

Northern Bobwhite

American Elm

Eastern Bluebird D

Polyphemus Moth

Eastern Subterranean Termite

Yellow Poplar

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker D

Northern Mockingbird

Wood Duck

Mockernut Hickory

Northern Mockingbird D

Dark-eyed Junco

White-footed Mouse

Black Oak

Cedar Waxwing D

Tufted Titmouse

White-throated Sparrow

Virginia Pine

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Relationship to Humans:

Wild Grapes are not often eaten by people, especially because they usually grow high in trees or are quickly eaten by animals. Grapes used to make wine are from Wild Grape vines which were brought into vineyards. Grapes are grown in yards for their fruit and to attract wildlife. There are few plants which feed so many different animals.


see Species above


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